Pray for Young, Incarcerated Gang Members in Guatemala

My Second Chance is sharing the freeing hope of God’s Word with incarcerated youth in Guatemala

"When I went before the judge, he said, 'Who is this?' He asked, 'Where is the kid that did these crimes?' I told him that I serve Christ now."

—Jose*, former Guatemalan gang member

Have you ever wished you could reverse a poor decision? Ever simply wanted to start over? Jose spent his young adult life trapped in cycles of gang violence and crime. But he wanted out. He was desperate for a second chance.

Jose comes from the city of Guatemala, which has the highest rate of violence in all Latin America with about five hundred murders committed each month. Families are afraid to speak out against the violence, and law officials are often powerless to intervene due to corruption within the police force.

Guatemala City is home to many young men like Jose. These young men are searching for significance and looking for fulfillment—and are often subsequently embraced and indoctrinated by gangs.

Once you are in a gang, you are sealed until death. My Second Chance teaches that the only name worth committing to in life and death is Jesus.

My Second Chance, a ministry coordinated by Bible Society of Guatemala and operating within Guatemalan Detention Centers, seeks to help incarcerated young men experience God’s freeing truth.

Jose was one of those young men, and he discovered the new life offered to him by Christ. Thousands of young men like Jose stand in need of the grace of Jesus, and My Second Chance shares with them the hope in God’s Word.

God's Word for More Than Two Thousand Youth Like Jose

This year, through My Second Chance, the Bible Society of Guatemala will distribute more than eleven thousand Scripture resources to youth within the criminal justice system. As a result, over two thousand youth will hear the message that God loves them and has a better plan for their lives.

The Bible's wisdom shows young men how to start fresh so they can return to society—not to repeat the same offenses but to be productive members of the community who are committed to the Lord.

We are praying for young men’s lives to be transformed as they encounter Jesus. And we pray they will have testimonies like Jose’s of how they received a hope-filled life.

Pray With Us:

Dear God,

We cry out to you on behalf of Guatemala City. We lift up to you the violence plaguing families, households, and the city, and we ask you to bring awakening, peace, and restoration. Please bless Bible Society of Guatemala and My Second Chance so youth once committed to gang life instead make lifelong commitments to you. We pray for the volunteer chaplains to be safe and effective in their ministry to the youth. May lives continue to be transformed by your Word that never fails. In Jesus's name, amen.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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Kanita Benson
Kanita Benson

Kanita Benson is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from Houston, TX, she, with her family relocated to the City of Brotherly Love, where she was raised and now calls home. She lives a life of fiery passion for global ministry, serving as a vocalist, speaker, worship leader, ministry leader, mobilizer and cross-cultural missionary; completely fulfilled in carrying out the Great Commission, serving abroad & advocating for women & children in displacement in East Africa. She enjoys adding stamps to her passport, trying new cuisine & working it off in the gym, cooking, reading & spending time in uncontrollable laughter with loved ones.

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